January 8, 2021

Around the nation: Severe allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccines are 'exceedingly rare,' CDC says

Daily Briefing

    CDC in a new report says there were 21 reported cases of severe allergic reactions among nearly two million people who received Covid-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States, showing such reactions are "exceedingly rare," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Georgia, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

    • Georgia: CDC in a report released Wednesday found 21 reported cases of severe allergic reactions among nearly two million people who received Covid-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. According to the report—which assessed reported cases between Dec. 14, 2020, and Dec. 23, 2020—most of the patients who had a severe allergic reaction after receiving the vaccines had a history of allergies or allergic reactions. Nancy Messonnier—director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who is leading the agency's Covid-19 vaccination efforts, on Wednesday said the data shows cases of severe allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccines are "exceedingly rare," and "[t]he risk from [Covid-19] and poor outcomes from [Covid-19] is still more than the risk of a severe outcome from the vaccine" (Branswell, STAT News, 1/6; McKay, Wall Street Journal, 1/6; Hellmann, The Hill, 1/6; Wan/Achenbach, Washington Post, 1/6).
    • Massachusetts: Betsy Nabel, CEO of Brigham and Women's Hospital, announced that she will leave the position on March 1 to work alongside her husband, Gary Nabel, who is launching a biotech company. Nabel has served as the hospital's CEO for 11 years. "I really want to spend time driving biotech innovation by advising companies and serving on boards," Nabel said. "This is where I believe I can have the greatest impact" (Bartlett, Boston Business Journal/NBC Boston, 1/5; McCluskey, Boston Globe, 1/5).
    • Minnesota: UnitedHealth Group (UHG) on Wednesday announced it has agreed to buy software and data analytics firm Change Healthcare for $7.84 billion in an all-cash deal that the companies expect to close in the second half of 2021. UHG said Change Healthcare will merge with UHG-subsidiary OptumInsight "to provide software and data analytics, technology-enabled services and research, advisory, and revenue cycle management offerings to help make health care work better for everyone." Separately, J.P. Morgan analyst Gary Taylor said, "The array of services provided by Change would appear to supplement and complement many of the services offered by [UHG's] OptumInsight division." According to the Associated Press, the deal is subject to approval by Change Healthcare shareholders and regulators (Chander, Reuters, 1/6; Japsen, Forbes, 1/6; Associated Press, 1/6; Tepper, Modern Healthcare, 1/6).

    Editor's note: Daily Briefing is published by Advisory Board, a division of OptumInsight.

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